PHILADELPHIA -- Guard Evan Mathis was one of 89 Philadelphia Eagles to report Friday to the NovaCare Complex. That's considered newsworthy, because the 32-year-old guard was considered a candidate for holding out.
"It was easy to sit there and think about it a month ago," Mathis said Friday. "But when it was getting down closer to the wire, it's not something I could see myself doing, really. For multiple reasons."
Mathis has three seasons remaining on his contract. His salary cap hit for 2014 is $6.15 million. In the final year of the deal, Mathis' cap hit is $7 million.
Mathis went to the Pro Bowl after the 2013 season. He was among New England's Logan Mankins ($10.5 million cap number) New Orleans' Jahri Evans ($11 million) and Ben Grubbs ($9.1 million), and Baltimore's Marshal Yanda ($8.45 million).
So Mathis could make a good argument that he is underpaid.
"I'm not here to make that argument right now," Mathis said.
He will attempt to make it on the field, as well as in conversations between his agent and the Eagles' front office. But Mathis decided not to seize whatever leverage he could by holding out. His position would have been even stronger because of the four-game suspension of right tackle Lane Johnson. The Eagles really wouldn't benefit from having 40 percent of their offensive line missing.
"That's not the course of action I took," Mathis said. "I'm not trying to strong-arm the team. I'm not trying to put them in a bad situation to get what I want. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm not really worried about it. Hopefully, it works out. If not, I'm still going to be the same football player."
Mathis said he finally decided a holdout would hurt his teammates too much.
"I wasn't scared of the fines," Mathis said. "But what I'd be doing to my teammates and coaches, that's the ultimate reason. I would feel wrong putting my team in that kind of situation."